There are over 2,500 species of palm trees worldwide, spanning from beaches to deserts. That plethora of palm varieties contributes significantly to the world economy and environment. Additionally, some species can serve as a vital food source for the coconuts, acai fruit, betel nuts and dates they produce.
It takes ongoing research to fight pests, diseases and climate change impacts to keep the palm industry environmentally and economically stable.
For the first time, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) are bringing together the industry’s leading palm experts. It takes place during the Palm Quest Conference on April 12 and 13 in Fort Lauderdale for an international forum providing the latest applied research projects and information on advances in palm production, installation and management techniques.
Registration is required online. The program is devoted to palm selection, production methods, landscape management, marketing, handling, trimming, best management practices, pest management issues and more.
All segments of the nursery and landscape industry are encouraged to attend. The conference target audience includes arborists, growers, landscape architects and contractors, inspectors, city and county planners, water management district staff, research scientists and more. Continuing education units (CEU) will be available to industry professionals for various programs.
The two-day format will provide attendees with multiple learning opportunities. The first day takes place indoors at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale West Hotel covering the historical impacts, production, preservation and physiology of palms. The second day takes place at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center where topics will focus on current research and ways to implement approaches and ideas. The program format will also include an evening reception with conference partners to network.
“You’ll get a full dose of science at the two-day conference. But you’ll also get history and an explanation of why palms matter,” said Scott Angle, UF senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS. “The scope and complexity of the challenges facing the palm industry are far beyond the capacity of a single individual to solve. I am grateful to see such an accomplished community forming around the discovery and dissemination necessary to protect our palms.”
Speakers will address the palm industry’s current and future trends, allowing attendees to focus clearly on getting results and staying ahead of the curve. Among the key speakers are:
- The specialized palm team at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, featuring palm horticulture specialist Mica McMillan, plant mycologist Braham Dhillon and insect vector ecologist Brian Bahder.
- John Dransfield of Royal Botanical Gardens KEW Gardens of London is an internationally recognized palm researcher.
- Lynn Griffith, a tropical plant and soil expert, has served as a horticultural consultant throughout the United States and in 34 countries for 42 years.
- Patrick Griffith, whose research is in plant systematics, plant conservation and is focused on living botanical collections, has led Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables since 2005. As executive director, he works to define, strengthen, and promote an important contribution that Montgomery makes to this field — living collections-based conservation and research.
- Jeff Caster, a landscape architect for the Florida Department of Transportation, and is now a fellow for the American Society of Landscape Architects.
- Christine Zamora, who has developed a career at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences- Division of Plant Industry working first in the bureau of methods and development on the biocontrol of the Caribbean fruit fly, then on to the nematology lab as the export certification specialist of the Bureau of Plant Inspection including.
For a complete list of conference speakers, topics, activities and online registration form, please review this Palm Quest Conference brochure. For additional questions, contact FNGLA at 407-295-7994 or email: email@example.com.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.